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Key Senate Democrat says Trump 'should withdraw' attorney general nomination

Key Senate Democrat says Trump 'should withdraw' attorney general nomination

Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Justice wrote an unsolicited memo six months ago objecting to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the president for obstruction of justice, United States media reported Thursday.

Barr, a conservative Washington lawyer, said in the memo that Trump's May 2017 firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey after Comey rebuffed pressure to ease off the Russian Federation collusion probe was legal under presidential powers and not obstruction, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The incoming Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he is "not personally" concerned with a memo written by attorney general nominee William Barr that criticized the special counsel's investigation into President Donald Trump.

In June 2018, Barr sent a memo to senior Department of Justice officials, reaching a decisive and controversial conclusion that Trump's interactions with ex-FBI Director James Comey would not constitute obstruction of justice.

Mueller's investigation, which President Donald Trump derides as a "witch hunt", is also examining whether Trump's campaign had colluded with Moscow.

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"Mueller should not be able to demand that the President submit to an interrogation about alleged obstruction", Barr wrote.

In the memo, Barr described himself as a "former official deeply concerned with the institutions of the presidency and the Department of Justice".

Barr's memo is sure to draw significant scrutiny now from Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill already troubled by his past comments on the special counsel's investigation.

"I have admired Bill Barr for decades, and I believe that he will be an outstanding Attorney General", Rosenstein said in a statement Wednesday night. The president, after Sessions' resignation, named Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general until a new leader is confirmed by the Senate. Rosenstein, who had been overseeing the probe when Barr sent him the memo, said the document "had no impact on the investigation".